A late 19th/early 20th century Coffee House chess set

A recent Ebay purchase – king 7.5 cms – with a couple of unusual points of interest. The base width of a pawn being 2.75 cms, it is identical in width to the king’s one. The box is without a lid which I rather doubt is original – why? The primary reason being was a none too easy to see a faint ‘Benetfink of Cheapside‘ stamped on the box underside. It is always a good idea for collectors to check the box underside and even the lid too, both sides. I have seen on an early 20th century Benetfink catalogue that Staunton chessmen were indeed sold as ” Ayres make “. This coffee house set is rather unlikely to have been made by Benetfink, and I very much doubt that the box has any genuine connection with Benetfink. These anomalies, if believed,  can cause great confusion amongst collectors. A recent CCI article by Peter Armit and Mick Deasey on so-called Whitty chessmen sure made interesting reading. Recently on the Bay there have been numbers of these coffee house sets being sold, but I do like them very much. For more information on coffee house sets see this link:-

Old Vienna & Coffeehouse – Welcome to the Chess Museum (chess-museum.com)

Collector comment:- the business of giving feedback I take very seriously, but the very negative option  of sellers giving disgruntled buyers reciprocal feedback stinks, is very unwise, and all it achieves is creating a war situation between sellers and buyers. Perhaps greedy Ebay desperate for sales commission  would prefer early morning duels between both parties?!



Posted on

April 28, 2021

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